The shame of this was that the dangers of ingested radium were already known, even before Byers started taking RadiThor. As I describe in my book, "Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation,"
the medical community had been studying the health effects of radium since its discovery by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. British scientist Walter Lazarus-Barlow had published as early as 1913 that ingested radium goes into bone
. And in 1914, Ernst Zueblin, a medical professor at the University of Maryland, published a review of 700 medical reports, many of which showed that bone necrosis and ulcerations
were a frequent side effect from ingesting radium. Unfortunately, the early red flags went unnoticed, and RadiThor sales remained strong through the 1920s.